Guide to Arts and Culture in the Gate City

The Pocatello/Chubbuck area has a thriving arts and entertainment scene, with plenty of opportunities to listen to live music, catch a play or enjoy fine art. Check out these venues:

The Portneuf Health Trust Amphitheatre.
The Portneuf Health Trust Amphitheatre.

Portneuf Health Trust Amphitheatre

Since its opening in 2015, the Portneuf Health Trust Amphitheatre has brought some of the biggest names in rock and roll and country music to the Gate City area. The first band to perform at the outdoor concert venue was The Beach Boys, and the big names haven’t stopped coming.

Lynyrd Skynyrd, Keith Urban, Boston, Styx, Tesla, Bret Michaels, Ratt, Warrant, Dokken and Lita Ford have all brought the house down at the 11,000-capacity outdoor concert venue located at the Portneuf Wellness Complex off Olympus Drive and East Chubbuck Road.

Stay tuned to the venue’s website at for updates on upcoming performers for the 2017 summer concert series.

Palace Playhouse.
Palace Playhouse.

Palace Playhouse

When first-time visitors first step foot inside the Palace Playhouse in Chubbuck, they are immediately stunned by the beautiful and ornate architecture.

But it’s the plays and musicals presented at the theater that leaves the biggest impression. Throughout the entire year, entertaining and exciting musicals leave audiences spellbound. Recently, the venue formerly known as the Mystique Performing Arts and Events Center has presented “Mary Poppins,” “Les Miserables,” Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” and “The Addams Family Musical.”

Visit for the most up-to-date list of dinner shows.

Palace Playhouse.
Palace Playhouse.

Stephens Performing Arts Center

What makes the L.E. and Thelma E. Stephens Performing Arts Center unique is its grand concert hall.

The venue located at Idaho State University utilizes the most state-of-the-art acoustical technology. The end result is crystal clear sound and one of the most magnificent listening experiences for audiences.

Make sure to check out one of the numerous performances held at the venue each year.

Fireworks at the Biggest Show in Idaho.
Fireworks at the Biggest Show in Idaho.

The Biggest Show in Idaho

Organizers weren’t exaggerating when they named Pocatello’s annual Fourth of July extravaganza “The Biggest Show in Idaho.”

The event concludes with a massive fireworks display that can be seen for miles. But for over a week, numerous fun, family-friendly activities are held. At the 2016 Biggest Show in Idaho, activities included a wildflower festival, a fishing derby, a basketball tournament, a golf tournament, a rodeo team roping event and a Fourth of July parade.

Intermixed throughout were various concerts and performances, including Gas, Food & Lodging, the Aaron Ball Band and the legendary rock band Boston.

Revive @ Five.
Revive @ Five.

Revive @ 5

The Revive @ 5 summer concert series has become a staple in Old Town Pocatello.

Every Wednesday during the hot summer months, the sounds of local bands fill the air at the Old Town Pavilion at 420 N. Main St. Besides the live music, there’s always plenty of food and drinks, as well as numerous booths by local merchants.

Make sure to check this April for the schedule of bands slated to perform during the 2017 summer concert series.

Westside Players

Every year, the all-volunteer Westside Players produce four dinner shows, all while offering good food and good performances.

Everybody involved with the organization is a volunteer, each devoted to bringing the finest theater performances to the Gate City area.

Check out the non-profit organization’s website at for the latest shows.

First Friday Art Walk.
First Friday Art Walk.

First Friday Art Walk

Want to check out the local art scene?

During the first Friday of every month, Old Town Pocatello hosts the First Friday Art Walk, where participating businesses in the downtown area display the artwork of local, regional and national artists. There’s lots of paintings, photographs and sculptures on display, many with the artist on hand to discuss their work.

Along the way you can expect live music and plenty of refreshments. There is no charge and the monthly event is open to everybody.

Bannock County Historical Museum

Though Pocatello wasn’t incorporated as a city until 1890, the area still has a long, fascinating history.

Remnants of the past can be found at the Bannock County Historical Museum. The museum houses a myriad collection from the Gate City’s history. Exhibit themes include information on the railroad, Prohibition police evidence, firefighting, ranching, farming, the military and local archaeological artifacts. There’s even an authentic Holladay Overland Stage Company stagecoach on display, harking back to the area’s Wild West days.

While visiting, make sure to check out the nearby Fort Hall Replica. The facility details the rich 19th century history of the modern Pocatello area. The roads to the replica even follow closely to the original Oregon and California trails, which helped bring the pioneers to the West.

Idaho Museum of Natural History

Wildfires, treehouses and dinosaurs.

Exhibits focusing on these three topics will be coming to the Idaho Museum of Natural History at Idaho State University in 2017.

“Living with Fire” will explore the relationship between man and both natural and man-made wildfires in the Gem State. This exhibit will run until September 2017.

“Tree Houses: Look who’s living in the trees!” will be featured between February and May. The traveling exhibit by Sciencenter will give visitors the chance to build a model treehouse, stomp on the “Forest Sound Dance Floor” to make a variety of animal sounds and learn about sustainable logging.

Throughout the summer, “Be the Dinosaur” will feature full-size dinosaur bones, a Safari Jeep and a paleontology field station. The museum touts this traveling exhibit as a groundbreaking fusion of state-of-the-art video game technology and traditional exhibits.

Museum of Clean.
Museum of Clean.

Museum of Clean

For a truly unique museum experience, make sure to check out the Museum of Clean at 711 South 2nd Avenue.

The 75,000-square foot facility is totally devoted to “clean,” with an art gallery and numerous historical antique items and tools related to cleanliness, including a huge vacuum cleaner collection dating back to the mid-1800s. Plus, there’s plenty of interactive exhibits for children, making it a fun and unique experience for the entire family.

The museum was founded in 2010 by Don Aslett, a local entrepreneur and author who has appeared on several nationally televised programs, including The Oprah Winfrey Show. In 1957, Aslett and Arlo Luke started Varsity Contractors, Inc., a janitorial service. Now known as Varsity Facility Services, the company that was originally created to help pay for Aslett’s tuition at Idaho State University now earns millions in annual revenue.


If you’re looking to catch the latest flick, the Pocatello area has plenty of movie screens. The Carmike Pine Ridge 11, located at 4355 Yellowstone Ave. in Chubbuck, also features a multi-million dollar BigD screen, the first large-format theater in the region.

There’s also the Reel Theatre, located at 310 E. Oak St. in Pocatello, and the Bengal Theater located in the Pond Student Union Building on the Idaho State University campus.

Post Author: David Ashby

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